CHINCHIMANI – The escalating levels of youth unemployment are giving the headman of Kanono in the Zambezi region sleepless nights, as the youth indulge in social evils.
The Zambezi region is no exception from the rest of the country when it comes to the crisis of unemployment.
Recently, a horde of unemployed young people flocked to the Kamunu Community Hall in Katima Mulilo to share their frustration before a public hearing that was organised in response to the Popular Democratic Movement (PDM) member of parliament, Inna Hengari.
Her motion seeks to discuss and debate the youth unemployment crisis in Namibia.
The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Human Resources and Community Development held public hearings in various regions to canvass input on the crucial motion.
Bothman Sikute, Kanono headman, whose village stretches about 7km, said there is nothing the youth can do, as there are no projects targeting them.
“The youth are indulging themselves in drinking alcohol. They are passing the time with alcohol. There are no projects. Some of them completed grade 12 but they are doing nothing. They are just in shebeens. Young boys are fighting and some are even stealing our properties because they are not occupied. Even women here are not working. They are just in the village,” he said.
The situation is even dire for minor girls who are falling pregnant at the tender age of 13 years.
These girls, according to Sikute, drop out of school and end up in the village raising their children.
“If a kid of 13 years gets pregnant, it is a problem. Some are leaving their kids with their parents to go back to school. We have three small girls who were impregnated here. Some parents are selling their kids in order to survive. We talk to parents not to sell their children to men with money due to poverty,” said Sikute.
He said the area does not have any agricultural projects despite the region being blessed with rich natural resources.
Asked why the youth cannot come up with their agricultural projects, Sikute said the area has no water sources.
According to him, their source of water, the Linyanti stream, has dried up.
The only water source is the NamWater pipeline but many villagers are unable to pay their bills and their accounts have since been suspended.
The villagers, who are unable to pay their bills, currently fetch from a communal tap.
“Where will people get money to pay NamWater every month? Their water has been disconnected. Maybe only six people have water. The majority go to the communal tap and they pay N$5 per bucket of water,” said Sikute.
He said underground water is salty in the area; hence, it is not fit for human and livestock consumption.
“We are suffering, honestly. Our animals are not with us here because of a lack of water. We want the government to subsidise us so people can afford to reconnect their water gauges. People go to the Zambezi River to wash their clothes,” he said.
Another issue he raised was the poor crop harvest in the area due to late rains.
He said people could not plough nor harvest any food from the fields due to poor rainfall.
Therefore, Sikute indicated people will require food items, such as maize meal; otherwise, people are starving.